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November 1, 1985

Academic Dismissals: Due ProcessPart I

JAMA. 1985;254(17):2463-2466. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360170103042

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THE Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution requires due process before a government body may deprive an individual of life, liberty, or property. It is now established that students in public institutions, which in fact are government bodies, have a "liberty" or "property" interest under the Fourteenth Amendment in completing their education and receiving their degree. Because this interest is within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment, it may be denied and the student expelled from the public institution only if the school follows the requirements of due process. As will be shown in this article, due process is a flexible concept, and there can be variation in the particular elements constituting due process. Moreover, in due process challenges in the academic setting, there has been a longstanding tradition of judicial restraint and deference to academic discretion.

Because private institutions are not entities of government, the Fourteenth Amendment and its